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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I have a .40S&W SW99 AS Since this is a close relative to the P99, I was hoping you guys wouldn't mind if I asked this question here.

I bought it used and for the first 400 rounds, it performed flawlessly. Then I had a stretch of about 4 weeks where I could not go to the range. During that time, I kept the SW99 as my home defense weapon since it was so flawless. Then when I returned to the range a couple weeks ago, I had failure to feed about three times on every magazine. At first I chalked it up to the two new magazines I bought but I hadn't marked them so I didn't know for certain which mags were doing this. So, when I got home, I marked all the mags and today I made a chart of all my mags and carefullly fed three loads through each mag. These are all the Mec-Gar 12 round mags BTW. They all had multiple FTFs. In some cases, it wouldn't even feed the first round. The lower edge of the feedramp would catch the flat face of the bullet and it would get stuck. In other cases, the leading edge of the bullet would somehow drop lower than the rear of the bullet and the face of the bullet would jam against the front of the magazine.

I tried stretching the mag spring to place more pressure on the bullet. That didn't work. I tried adding a paper spacer between the red plastic piece and the spring so that the nose of the bullet would be pushed up more than the rear. That seemed to work at first but then that mag failed as well.

I'm stuck now. I can't rely on this gun at all. Curiously, my most reliable gun is my little .380 PPK. It fires every time, regardless of what I feed it.

Any ideas?

The only thing that is nagging to me is this... Each night before I go to bed, I slip a loaded magazine into the SW99 and set it under my bed. I do not rack the slide and I load that mag with the slide in the forward position. There seems to be a rather short spring near the top that must be overcome in order to fully seat the magazine in the gun. If I load the mag with the slide in the rearward position, that little spring pressure near the top is absent. Have I bent something by jamming the mag in with the slide in the forward position?

Thanks for any help you can offer.
 

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When I purchased my P99 used from my brother, the first trip to the range was horrible. Like you, about every third round was a FTF, for various reasons. When I got home I stripped the gun, liberally applied Hoppe's #9, then washed the frame in scalding hot water and detergent and brushed it with a toothbrush. Then I dried it with the hair drier, reapplied Hoppe's, and lubricated the gun.........not a single malfunction since, so I always recommend this procedure to anyone having issues with a polymer framed pistol.

Recently, I've also seen a few new .40 cal pistols of various manufacturers have difficulty feeding ammo. They were all using the Wal-Mart Winchester white box variety of ammo. The flat bullet face with it's sharp corner catches the feed ramp. I would clean the weapon as described above, and switch ammo manufacturers, using something with a more rounded bullet at 165 grains or higher to complete your break-in. If you get it working smoothly, run a box of hollow points through it as this is the real test of reliably feeding a combat round. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I'll try that again.

I was feeding Walmart White box back when I first got it and that fed just fine. When it was FTFing last week, I was using white box and all sorts of other ammo that I bought at hte local stores plus I wasted a whole box of Corbon DPX. I looked at those flat blunt nose rounds and wondered if that was an issue, but I had the same trouble with some Russian-made ammo that had a very rounded nose. That stuff actually hung up on the front of the magazine.

I'll try cleaning it out really well again and see what happens. If that is the problem though, that is pretty pathetic that just a little dirt in the gun would incapacitate it so.
 

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only had a FTF with the 10 rnd mags. Have seen it with other guns though, where the mags had been disassembled and the spring inserted wrong. And stretching mag springs is always a bad idea since you weaken them. Just to be safe you ought to order new springs.

BTW, I have shot mine with 0 malfunctions when it was pig dirty. I think its something else.


Greg
 

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My SW99 .40 has been, to put it kindly, nothing but a nightmare! Mine will not feed anything well, actually creases the case about halfway down from the case mouth. To add insult to injury, all six of my magazines refuse to lock open the slide on the off chance I do happen to get the mag to empty. It looks as the follower simply does not sit high enough in the magazine to work the slide stop. I've also noticed that rounds sit so low in the magazine that the top cartridge's case mouth will actually hit the front of the magazine on the way out. My mags are all S&W, made by Mec-Gar. Hopefully you can get yours working again, as for myself, I am disgusted with mine, will probably sell it at a substantial loss just to get rid of it. I considerd a "Real" Walther but since Walther marked mags are also made by MG, I doubt I'll risk it.
 

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Speaking as an engineer: Never carry a gun with the mag springs you stretched.

If they end up working at the range, fine. Don't trust your life on them. I can see where you're coming from, but springs don't work that way.
 

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To Graydon, I read somewhere before that the high cap .40S&W mags with the red followers were defective or unreliable for some reason, and that S&W had replaced them with the blue followers, you may want to call S&W customer service and look into this, I had 12 rd mags on my P99 .40 and they had blue followers, I never had a single issue with them.
About the russian made ammo you fired, if the brand was wolf, please do your weapon the favor of never buying that ammo again, not to be mean, but I've seen far too many fte's and ftf's with wolf ammo, I will never run it through one of my weapons.

To demented, to me it almost sounds as if your mag springs are worn out or otherwise weakened to the point that they are not putting enough tension on the follower, if this is the case, that problem can be solved by replacing the springs and possible the followers as well. This is also something I would call S&W customer service and inquire about. Please do not give up on such an amazing experience to what could be worn out mag springs. I had a P99 .40 S&W and put well over 3000 rds through it, never once did I have a problem with the mags.
 

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All the problems described above are common magazine problems, which could be caused by all sorts of things, including faulty manufacture. Unless you KNOW you have the correct components, and they are undamaged, you'll go crazy trying to figure out what's wrong.

Eliminate all variables by buying ONE new magazine. Buy it directly from S&W to make sure you get the latest version; don't count on the fact that what you get from some aftermarket source is the same, regardless whether it was made by Mec-Gar or somebody else. Load it with 10 or 11 rounds, not 12. Most double-column, single-position feed mags work much better and more reliably when not stuffed to full capacity. Try it with Federal American Eagle, not Wolf or some other ammo of unknown reliability. If your problems disappear, you're home.

M
 

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You've probably already checked for this, but I thought I'd mention it anyway: when you reassembled your magazine after cleaning them, did you make sure to insert the spring such that the top of it is pushing the front of the follower up?

The only thing that is nagging to me is this... Each night before I go to bed, I slip a loaded magazine into the SW99 and set it under my bed. I do not rack the slide and I load that mag with the slide in the forward position. There seems to be a rather short spring near the top that must be overcome in order to fully seat the magazine in the gun. If I load the mag with the slide in the rearward position, that little spring pressure near the top is absent. Have I bent something by jamming the mag in with the slide in the forward position?

Thanks for any help you can offer.
That last bit of resistance you feel when inserting a loaded magazine into a gun with the slide forward, is the "ridge" on the underside of the slide pressing down on the top round in the magazine. It is perfectly normal. That is why you don't feel any resistance when the slide is racked, i.e., the top round in the magazine isn't pushing up against the "ridge."
 

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Just to add again, check that your mag springs did not get rotated 180 deg. Seems to be the normal problem after taking them apart to clean them.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks to all of you for your excellent suggestions.

Yes, I have checked that the springs were replaced correctly. I double checked one last night and I'll double check the rest later but I am quite certain that is correct. I would love for that to be the problem. The fix would be so easy. :)

I tried calling S&W last night but their customer service line must have been busy. I got stuck in a vicious loop because the operator had her line forwarded to voicemail but there was no voicemail set up for that account, so it then tried the operator again. I figured eventually the rep would pick up but never did in the half hour I spent trying, so I left my number. I'll be curious to hear what they say about a fix, including potentially the "blue" followers. All of mine are orange-red.
 

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Graydon, please forgive my hijacking your thread but as we both seem to be having similar problems, I couldn't resist jumping in. My SW-99 was sent back to S&W, they actually replaced the barrel in mine at no charge. This fixed my feeding issues for the most part, now I've found that my magazine followers will not sit high enough in the mag tube to 100% lock the slide when the pistol is empty. I had S&W send me two new followers, they were the orange variety, they were no better than the ones I already had. Either the followers in my magazines are oversize OR the mag tubes are undersize. where I can go from here, I have no idea. I wonder if I can buy Blue followeres from Walther and if they might "fix" my problem?
 

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Strange. The S&W mags are 100% identical to the Walther mags except the stamp on them. They are made in the same factory with the same parts and probably on the same line. I have 16 rd. SW99 magazines that work fine with the P99 and SW99 with white followers. These are 9mm though so it may be their .40 mags.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Graydon, please forgive my hijacking your thread but as we both seem to be having similar problems, I couldn't resist jumping in. My SW-99 was sent back to S&W, they actually replaced the barrel in mine at no charge. This fixed my feeding issues for the most part, now I've found that my magazine followers will not sit high enough in the mag tube to 100% lock the slide when the pistol is empty. I had S&W send me two new followers, they were the orange variety, they were no better than the ones I already had. Either the followers in my magazines are oversize OR the mag tubes are undersize. where I can go from here, I have no idea. I wonder if I can buy Blue followeres from Walther and if they might "fix" my problem?
D,

No hijack, it is all the same problem. I'll post what I find here after I talk to S&W so hopefully we'll all benefit from the info.

What bothers me is that it functioned perfectly for the first few hundred rounds after I received the gun. Now, I'm looking at XDs and even _Glocks_!
 

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Update to an old stale thread!

I got my SW99 back from S&W a few weeks ago but it took me a week to get to the range. S&W polished the feed ramp but they did not change the followers on the mags. That bothered me alot because the feeding problem was such tha the bullet never even reached the feedramp so polishing it was not even remotely relevant to the issue.

When I did get to the range, I found that my fears were justified because it FTF'd just as often as it did before. So, I called S&W again and they sent another call tag. This time, I made a couple really nice drawings to show exactly what the rounds are doing. Occasionally they tip forward and jam against the inside of the magazine but usually they jam against the bottom of the feedramp. This time, they fixed and returned the gun in just over a week which really surprised me. However, once again, they did not change the followers. I still have the old orange-red followers and they did not change the mags either. The repair tag said the made adjustments to the mags. I don;'t kow what that means, but the result is that this gun now works 100% using Winchester White Box. I ran two mgs worth of ammo through ever mag and it functioned flawlessly on every round. Then I ran 50 rounds of Corbon JHP 135g and it jammed against the bottom of the feedramp on the second round on two occasions. I am going to try a couple other hollow point rounds to find one that feeds reliably but I think it is almost fair to give an allowance that some HP ammo may jam. Truthfully, I think that it all should work, but it seems to be an industry-accepted norm that some HP ammo won't cycle in some guns.

So, I am much happier now and I plan to do more qualification shooting with this gun with the plan that eventually when my confidence is 100%, I could carry this gun. I ordered a High Noon IWB tuckable holster for it this morning in anticipation of that time.

After shooting 300+ rounds last night, I am getting a groove with my SW99 and I was shooting far more accurately. I could hit the bullseye pretty consistently at 10 yards with the occasional flyer. I had to use a sight picture with the front sight raised a little to hit the bullseye. I think I need a lower front sight. I'm getting used to the kick too. The first time I shot this gun, I thought it was going to hit the roof!

So, Demented, there is hope. Hang in there.
 

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I had a problem with my .40. Turns out it was the ammo. I was using mag tech ammo flat nose tip. Flat nose tip would not slide up the barrel ramp smoothly. Changed ammo problem solved.
 
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